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I believe you should use the accusative for the expression 'each week' каждую неделю. However 'each car' is каждая машина in the nominative. Is this correct and, if so, why?

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    a simpler explanation is that каждую неделю is an adverb therefore its case doesn't change being a marker of its adverbial character, but when it's an adjectival phrase (adjective + noun) where the noun is a subject or an object, then it inflects according to the case it's put in, and so do behave other adverbs derived from nouns May 4 '19 at 11:30
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    Without the context you can't state, which is right or wrong. It can be used in any case required by the context. Каждая неделя начинается с понедельника. Каждую машину надо мыть после поездки.
    – V.V.
    May 5 '19 at 13:06
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No, it's not quite right. Depending on context каждую машину is correct and каждая неделя is correct as well.

The thing is неделю in accusative stands for a period of time, so it's just should be memorized that in phrase like:

Всю неделю я пил.

всю неделю stands for whole week. Correspondingly каждую неделю stands for "every week" as a period during which something happens.

However, in phrase like:

Тут всегда происходит что-то новое, и каждая неделя особенная.

каждая неделя is also translated as every week but the difference is that here we are not talking about something that happens every week but about the week as a concept itself - "every week is special".

You confusion is quite understandable, because not all common periodization falls under the same pattern - it's all about nouns in feminine - well, strictly speaking it's just that for non-feminine accusative and nominative are coinciding. Here's more or less full list:

  • Каждую секунду, каждую минуту (yep, same pattern)
  • Каждую ночь (actually yep, it's just that ночь in accusative does not change)
  • Каждый час, каждый день, каждый месяц, каждый год, каждый век (nope, well, again, in that sense that actually nominative and accusative are equivalent)

By the way, another important form worth to mention is неделями - it translated "for weeks", so "он квасил неделями" is "he's been binging for weeks". Unlike the single accusative, this plural instrumental pattern works for a bigger set of nouns, so секундами, минутами, часами, годами, днями, месяцами, годами, столетиями, веками are also all valid.

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The Nominative case serves for denoting either the subject or the predicate of a sentence.

Знание - сила, Время - деньги - both the subjects and the predicates are the nouns in the N.c.

In all other functions the objective cases (all the rest) are used.

As "каждую неделю", "год назад", "через пять лет" are the adverbial modifiers of time, they cannot be used in the Nominative case. The listed above are in the Accusative case.

But if we make a phrase with "каждый + time period" a subject, it immediately goes into the Nominative case.

Каждая неделя, проведенная за работой, приближала его к успеху.

Каждый день жизни - радость.

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